When it comes to CBD (Cannabidiol) topical products, it is common knowledge that the integrity and source of the CBD being used directly affects the user’s experience. What many people don’t realize, however, is that supplemental ingredients are just as important when it comes to formulating an effective CBD product. Whether it be carrier oils or other cosmetic and skincare ingredients, these components directly affect how a product will look, feel, and perform. How those ingredients are sourced and processed also impacts the safety and quality of the finished CBD product.


When shopping for CBD products most people tend to focus on the CBD itself, and rightly so, as having a basic understanding of CBD is the first step in choosing a high-quality product. CBD comes in various forms such as full-spectrum oils and isolate. It can be derived from either hemp or marijuana. Where your CBD comes from, how it’s processed, and how much is in your product can significantly change your CBD experience and the efficacy of the product.

Skincare Ingredients

The non-CBD ingredients are equally as important; however, most consumers don’t usually give them as much consideration. This is unfortunate because they too influence the performance of the final product. These other ingredients are often carrier oils, or oils that help distribute the CBD for its intended application. However, they can also include a variety of other substances like salts, sugars, waxes, water, or botanical compounds. These ingredients commonly make up the majority of the product you’re buying and should ideally complement the CBD so that the product is most effective and feels good.

A Touch of Luxury

Different ingredients also bring different properties to CBD topicals and body care products. A combination of complementary ingredients is most effective in producing products that offer superior performance. Even if a topical product doesn’t have CBD in it, it should still be pleasurable to use, gentle, and nourishing for your skin and body. Adding exotic or luxury oils such as quick-absorbing kukui nut oil or silky-smooth tamanu oil enhances the feel of a CBD topical and leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated long after the CBD has been absorbed.

Ingredient Grades and Processing

A further consideration is how these ingredients are sourced and how they’re processed. Why bother with high quality CBD if it’s going to be dumped into a low-quality ingredient? Quality matters particularly if the topical is designed to be used on delicate intimate or facial areas. When possible, choose oils that are cold-pressed and minimally processed to preserve the natural properties of the ingredients. We also recommend seeking out CBD topicals that use food grade ingredients (ingredients that are intended to be consumed) as they are more tightly regulated and tend to be nearly free from contaminants. However, many skincare and cosmetic ingredients simply aren’t available as food grade because they aren’t eaten. Particularly when using products on delicate areas of the body, you don’t want the complementary ingredients to be adulterated or contaminated nor do you want to lose the benefits of exquisite botanicals. Opt for the highest quality of ingredients possible.

A Quick Note on Fragrance

Some people love a scented topical, some people don’t. A scent you love can elevate your experience but if you have a sensitivity it can seriously ruin your day. Delicate skin is more prone to irritation than the rest of the body and unscented products may be more appropriate for those who are especially sensitive. Regardless of personal preference, we recommend steering clear of fragrances that include parabens as there is growing evidence suggesting that they can disrupt hormone function and increase your risk of certain cancers. Similarly, we strongly recommend exercising caution when it comes to using topicals that include essential oils on their list of ingredients. Not all essential oils are appropriate for every person and some, like cinnamon and peppermint, can be irritating to sensitive skin. In the case of tea tree oil, it can be dangerous if accidentally ingested. Laboratory created fragrance that is paraben free is less likely to be irritating.

Quality Matters

Higher quality ingredients yield higher quality finished products. While the quality of the CBD in topicals is critical to the functionality of the product, the complementary oils, botanicals, and other skincare ingredients should not be overlooked as they are crucial to the performance and efficacy of the CBD. Consumers should always be critical and discerning of the safety and caliber of those ingredients. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and the quality of what you put on it matters.

About the Author: Heather Bahr is the Formulation Specialist for EngErotics, a woman-owned company that uses science and engineering to design and manufacture body-safe intimacy devices and complementary CBD intimate body care products. She’s happy to answer whatever questions you may have!

Email: Heather.Bahr@engerotics.com

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